Victories can come in all shapes and sizes. It can be achieving 10,000 steps daily, doing your first 5K, or meeting your weight loss goals. A great VICTORY is promoting and maintaining health by eating produce grown by yourself. A Victory Garden is a term that sprouted during WW II as personal gardens or defense gardens to reduce the pressure on the public food supply. This holds true today with the drought in the West which is having dramatic affect now and in the future on available produce. The term defense also take on a new meaning as we can defend ourselves against disease by eating more herbs, vegetables and fruits without added chemicals and pesticides. My friends ask me often how do I plant vegetables? My advice is just try! I encourage you to start small and to be inspired to plant herbs of a cuisine that you enjoy eating. For example if you like Italian food plant a Mediterranean inspired planter. What will you need: A large pot, gravel or rocks to place in the bottom for weight and drainage, vegetable potting soil, and small plants or seeds. For your Italian Planter get a small rosemary plant, oregano, parsley, basil and thyme seeds. Follow the seed package directions so that you don't plant to early. Place your planter in a sunny spot and be sure to water weekly or more during the hot weather. This summer you will have a beautiful planter to look at and to snip your herbs from for delicious dishes into the fall. I have also included a article posted this winter on Active.com as an inspiration for planting swiss chard this summer. Spring is the time to be inspired to grow and try something new, so go out and get your hands dirty! Kyle 3 Heart-Healthy Recipes for Winter By Suzanne Corey | For Active.com Roasted Eggplant and Heirloom Tomatoes "As registered dietitians, we often recommend that half of your plate be comprised of vegetables as part of a heart healthy diet," says licensed dietitian and certified diabetes educator Patty Berry of Texas Nutrition Consultants in Austin, Texas. Berry created the following easy and delicious recipe to help meet that goal on cold winter days when a salad may lack appeal. The dish is rich in vitamins, minerals and fiber and uses healthy monounsaturated fat in the form of olive oil, Berry says. Ingredients 1 medium eggplant 4 heirloom tomatoes 2 tablespoons garlic infused olive oil 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. In a large bowl, gently toss all ingredients. Spread the vegetables onto a baking sheet. Bake until tender, about 20 minutes. Swiss Chard and Chicken Sausage As a nutritionist, registered dietitian and mom, Kyle Parker of Ann Arbor Nutrition says her goal is to provide healthy food that tastes good too. "My family loves this recipe, which uses Swiss chard as it grows easily in the summer and is plentiful in the fall and winter months," Parker says. Swiss Chard comes in many colors and varieties to add delicious taste to this dish. Chard is rich in natural nutrients that promotes good health and disease prevention as well as being low in calories, Parker says. More: Which Are the Best Leafy Greens? "It is rich in minerals like copper, calcium, sodium, potassium, iron, manganese and phosphorus," Parker says. "Potassium plays an important role in the control of blood pressure. Regular intake of chard has been found to prevent osteoporosis, iron-deficiency anemia, and is believed to protect form cardiovascular disease." Ingredients 1 tablespoon olive oil Large bunch of cleaned and chopped Swiss chard 1 large onion sliced 12 ounces of sliced mushrooms 4 to 6 small fingerling or redskin potatoes 2 to 4 medium size chicken and maple flavored sausages 1 to 2 cloves of garlic, minced Low fat/sodium chicken or vegetable stock Nutmeg Black pepper Set a large non-stick skillet on medium heat. Add the olive oil, mushrooms, potatoes, sausage and garlic. Saut? until the potatoes are tender and slightly browned. Add the Swiss chard and broth and cover. Cook until just tender to prevent it from becoming bitter. Before serving flavor with the black pepper and nutmeg. Option: In place of the sausage and potatoes, add a 14-ounce can of drained white beans.